Monday, 12 December 2011

East Midlands Ambulance Service loses £20m contract to transport non-emergency patients

East Midlands Ambulance Service loses £20m contract to transport non-emergency patients:

AMBULANCE chiefs have expressed disappointment on losing a £20 million a year contract to transport non-emergency patients, including those in Northamptonshire, to a private firm. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Learning Disability Nursing: report for the PAB for Nursing and Midwifery

Learning Disability Nursing: report for the PAB for Nursing and Midwifery:

The Nursing and Midwifery Professional Advisory Board (PAB), is an expert advisory board providing advice on nursing and midwifery workforce planning to the Department of Health’s Chief Nursing Officer.

The PAB set up a task and finish group chaired by Professor Robert Gates, academic and professional lead for learning disabilities, Hertfordshire University, to look at service provision, practice, education and training related to learning disability nursing, to analyse the diminishing numbers of learning disability nurses, and assess possible solutions.

Read the Learning Disability Nursing: Task and finish Group: report for the Professional and Advisory Board for Nursing and Midwifery Department of Heath

Behavioural change has been too low on NHS priority list

Behavioural change has been too low on NHS priority list: Changing public behaviour has failed to become an NHS priority because no one faces the threat of being sacked for failing to engage patients, the NHS Confederation has argued. GP Online

Learning disability care homes 'substandard'

Learning disability care homes 'substandard': Four of first five services inspected after the Winterbourne View abuse scandal don't meet essential standards, commission findsFour of the first five services for people with learning disabilities that were subject to snap inspections in the wake of the Winterbourne View scandal have failed to meet essential standards of care and safety.Inspectors believe that the findings, together with early results of more than 60 other spot-checks, show that hospitals and care homes for learning disabled people ... The Guardian

Any Qualified Provider (AQP) services map

Any Qualified Provider (AQP) services map:

PCTs, supported by pathfinder clinical commissioning groups, have selected three or more AQP services for implementation in 2012/13 from the list in the Operational Guidance to the NHS: Extending Patient Choice of Provider (July 2011). Alternatively, they could choose other services, which are higher local priorities, based on the views of service users and potential gains in quality and access. This map shows the services selected for provision under AQP by PCT based on data provided by NHS Strategic Health Authorities and is subject to revision as the data changes.

NHS outcomes framework

NHS outcomes framework:

This document outlines the outcomes and corresponding indicators that will be used to hold the NHS Commissioning Board to account for the outcomes it delivers through commissioning health services from 2012/13. The framework sets the direction of travel in the journey towards improving outcomes, and offers an opportunity for the NHS to begin to understand what an NHS focussed on outcomes means for individuals, organisations and health economies.

Responses to NHS outcomes framework

NHS staff turnover figures

NHS staff turnover figures: NHS workforce shrank by 2% according to staff turnover figures analysed by the HSJ. Healthcare Today

Andrew Lansley demands new inquiry into NHS regulator

Andrew Lansley demands new inquiry into NHS regulator:

Health secretary appoints outsider to look into new allegations about Care Quality Commission

The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, has ordered an urgent investigation into claims that the board of the regulator responsible for overseeing NHS hospitals and care homes has been prevented from questioning whether the chief executive should continue in her job.

In an unprecedented move, Lansley has gone outside the Department of Health and appointed Gill Rider, president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a former Cabinet Office civil servant, to investigate claims that the board of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had been "sidelined" after asking questions about the watchdog's leadership.

The CQC's board, made up of four experts and led by its chair, is responsible for "strategic oversight" and is supposed to hold chief executive Cynthia Bower and her management to account.

The National Audit Office said earlier this month the CQC had not provided value for money for taxpayers and its failures had risked "unsafe or poor quality (patient) care".

On Monday, Bower will face MPs on the public accounts committee who want her to answer criticisms about the performance of the CQC since she took over in 2008.

Bower, who is paid more than £195,000 a year, was formerly chief executive of the NHS West Midlands strategic health authority, where she was responsible for supervising the performance of Stafford hospital during the time it was criticised over poor standards of care.

She has become a central figure in the public inquiry considering how NHS overseers failed to spot how poor care at Stafford hospital led to hundreds of needless deaths between 2005-08.

Lansley is said to have been alarmed to read the testimony to the inquiry last month from Kay Sheldon, a CQC board member, denouncing Bower and chair Dame Jo Williams for putting "reputation-management and personal survival" ahead of patients' best interests.

Sheldon told the inquiry that key information had been withheld from the CQC's board and decisions were taken without its approval. She painted a picture of an organisation beset by a "bullying culture".

In her written evidence, she said: "A few months ago, I again raised the issue of whether Cynthia Bower's position was tenable. The response I got was that 'we do not need a high-profile sacking at this time'."

Sheldon says Williams called her and "shouted down the phone at me" after she tried to raise concerns about a key strategy with Bower in September.

Lansley has demanded a report on his desk "within weeks" that will see if "these matters were handled correctly".

Apart from the public inquiry, the NAO report and the parliamentary committee's investigation, a Department of Health performance and capability review is being held into the CQC.

At the public inquiry, the CQC categorically denied the substance of Sheldon's claims that there had been attempts to "prevent her from attending board meetings and carrying out her role as a board member". It said it had provided breakdowns of the CQC finances and had kept the board informed on key decisions.

A Department of Health spokesman confirmed to the Guardian: "We have ordered a review to quickly establish the facts around how Kay Sheldon's raising of concerns about the CQC were handled." The Guardian

Study reveals postcode lottery

Study reveals postcode lottery: Huge regional inequalities in the quality, quantity and costs of health care have been revealed by a Government study.The Telegraph

Third of hospitals and care home breaking dignity laws

Third of hospitals and care home breaking dignity laws: Nearly a third of NHS hospitals and care homes are breaking laws on treating patients with respect and dignity, inspections by the health service watchdog have revealed. The Telegraph

Reforms are putting patients' lives at risk, say NHS trusts

Reforms are putting patients' lives at risk, say NHS trusts:

Patient safety is being put at risk by the Government's huge NHS shake-up, health trusts have warned, as Labour accused ministers of "breathtaking and dangerous arrogance". The Independent

RCN opposes Chancellor’s push for local pay deals

RCN opposes Chancellor’s push for local pay deals: The Royal College of Nursing has responded to a letter from Chancellor George Osborne to the pay review body opposing his proposal to a move from a national NHS pay deal to one based on regional negotiation.